Much has been said about the darkest building in the world, designed by Asif Khan, for Hyundai's Winter Olympic pavilion this year. What’s more surprising about this blackest-of-black pavilion is really how bright it is inside. The imposing facade of Vantablack VBx2 encloses a series of radiant, playful rooms and the entire project is part of a joint effort by Hyundai and Asif Khan to use architecture and design principles to bring delight to Olympic visitors in Pyeongchang this year.
Architecture as Experiential Marketing: The Surprisingly Bright Vantablack Olympic Pavilion in PyeongChang
The Olympic pavilion is coated with Vantablack VBx2 carbon nanotubes and illuminated by thousands of tiny white light rods. These rods extend from the structure's parabolic super-black facade and create the illusion of a field of stars suspended in space. Looking at the building will be the closest experience to looking into space from a point on Earth.
Anish Kapoor, a British-Indian sculptor, now owns the exclusive rights within the field of art to Vantablack, currently the world’s darkest material. Developed by a team of scientists at Surrey NanoSystems in 2014, Vantablack absorbs all light and creates a crease free abyss which is often compared to a black hole. Other artists, such as Christian Furr, had intended to use Vantablack in a series of paintings, but no longer can due to Kapoor’s monopolization. “All the best artists have had a thing for pure black — Turner, Manet, Goya,” he told Daily Mail. “This black is like dynamite in the art world. We should be able to use it. It isn’t right that it belongs to one man.”